Bell Becomes Third Three-Time Winner Of The Turkey Night Grand Prix

Christopher Bell wins 2018 Turkey Night Grand Prix. Photo by Ryan Northcote, from USAC Racing.

The 78th Turkey Night Grand Prix creates the third three-time winner of the event. Christopher Bell repeats as the TNGP winner in back-to-back years, adding to his win in 2014. This gives the young wheelman a total of 3 wins in five years at the famed race.

Eight drivers have won the event in two consecutive years, including Ron Shuman’s impressive four consecutive year stretch (1979-1982) and back-to-back wins again in 1992 and 1993. Shuman also had wins in 1984 and 1987 making him an eight-time winner of the TNGP.

Bell and Kyle Larson have been dominant in the event with Larson winning in 2012 and 2016. The current Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian  teammates make up a favorite tandem in the midget racing world, especially with fans that continually see the two battle for the win at each event they compete in.

This year’s TNGP was no different. Chad Boat, son of three time event winner Billy Boat, led for the first 50 laps. Larson took over on lap 51 with Bell following a lap later. Bell pressured Larson almost immediately, with Larson able to hold off his teammate for 35 laps. Bell finally got by Larson on lap 87, using lap traffic in turns three and four to make the pass. Bell would not give up the lead from that point on.

For the second time this year in USAC, a rarity occurred with the USAC Light Up The World Western States Midget championship resulting in a tie.  Like the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car title race between Tyler Courtney and Kevin Thomas, Jr., this year’s Western States champ was decided on a tiebreaker with Michael Faccinto being crowned the series titlist over Alex Schutte.  Faccinto scored three wins in 2018 to Schutte’s two.

November 22, 2018 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California – 78th “Turkey Night Grand Prix” Results:

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING (Top-10 Locked Into Feature): 1. Tanner Carrick, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.425; 2. Chad Boat, 84, Tucker/Boat-12.426; 3. Kyle Larson, 1, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.444; 4. Shane Golobic, 17w, Clauson Marshall/Wood-12.457; 5. Tanner Thorson, 3c, Tri-C-12.464; 6. Tucker Klaasmeyer, 27, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.487; 7. Ryan Robinson, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.537; 8. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson Marshall-12.548; 9. Christopher Bell, 21, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.555; 10. Brady Bacon, 76m, FMR-12.570; 11. Jesse Colwell, 71x, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.601; 12. Rico Abreu, 97K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.625; 13. Zeb Wise, 39BC, Clauson Marshall-12.629; 14. Carson Garrett, 15c, Garrett-12.638; 15. Cole Bodine, 17BC, Clauson Marshall-12.650; 16. Cody Swanson, 71s, Campbell-12.657; 17. Justin Grant, 76E, FMR-12.680; 18. Colton Heath, 99, Stewart-12.684; 19. McKenna Haase, 85, Tucker/Boat-12.691; 20. Jason McDougal, 15, Petry-12.692; 21. Michael Faccinto, 9D, Dodenhoff-12.697; 22. Spencer Bayston, 97, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.708; 23. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry-12.716; 24. Colby Copeland, 87, Tucker/Boat-12.737; 25. C.J. Sarna, 20, Sarna-12.750; 26. Grady Chandler, 7u, Trifecta-12.755; 27. Logan Seavey, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.775; 28. Dustin Golobic, 17G, Wood-12.803; 29. Maria Cofer, 57, Cofer-12.807; 30. Robby Josett, 68, Six8-12.830; 31. Austin Liggett, 67x, Bock-12.852; 32. Holley Hollan, 35, Petry-12.856; 33. Chris Sheil, 91, Mason-12.892; 34. Ryan Bernal, 73T, Ford-12.963; 35. Holly Shelton, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.951; 36. Sam Johnson, 72, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-12.959; 37. Blaze Bennett, 10B, Bennett-12.963; 38. Jake Morgan, 45, Morgan-12.964; 39. Carson Macedo, 73x, Ford-12.978; 40. Damion Gardner, 25x, Rodela-13.033; 41. Robert Dalby, 4D, Dalby-13.047; 42. Michelle Decker, 4m, Meents-13.047; 43. Kyle Beilman, 31, Beilman-13.055; 44. Johnathon Henry, 1x, LKK-13.057; 45. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-13.090; 46. C.J. Leary, 55, Bowman-13.100; 47. Dylan Ito, 73, Ford-13.111; 48. Sheldon Haudenschild, 17s, Clauson Marshall-13.129; 49. Geoff Ensign, 3F, Finkenbinder-13.143; 50. Daniel Anderson, 7, McQueen-13.174; 51. Jesse Fernandez, 97F, Fernandez-13.177; 52. Mike Leach, 33p, Leach-13.192; 53. Ricky Lewis, 1p, Nichols-13.197; 54. Alex Schutte, 28, Schutte/McElwee-13.221; 55. Sterling Cling, 5, Petry-13.238; 56. Lance Bennett, 10, Bennett-13.241; 57. Jake Swanson, 68w, Six8-13.295; 58. Buddy Kofoid, 73K, Ford-13.426; 59. Bryan Drollinger, 71D, Drollinger-13.428; 60. Kevin Woody, Jr., 2, Dukes-13.625; 61. Olivia Bennett, 77B, Bennett-13.842.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS / EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST QUALIFYING RACE: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Colwell, 2. Grant, 3. McDougal, 4. Coons, 5. Garrett, 6. Shelton, 7. Dalby, 8. Morgan, 9. Chandler, 10. Henry, 11. Hollan, 12. Cofer, 13. Ito, 14. Anderson, 15. L. Bennett, 16. Lewis, 17. Drollinger. 2:31.84

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS SECOND QUALIFYING RACE: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Abreu, 2. Bodine, 3. Seavey, 4. Faccinto, 5. Copeland, 6. Josett, 7. Heath, 8. Decker, 9. Johnson, 10. Haudenschild, 11. Schutte, 12. Pankratz, 13. Fernandez, 14. Woody, 15. Sheil, 16. Macedo, 17. J. Swanson. NT

CHALK STIX / COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) THIRD QUALIFYING RACE: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to feature) 1. Wise, 2. Bayston, 3. Leary, 4. C. Swanson, 5. D. Golobic, 6. Liggett, 7. Haase, 8. Bernal, 9. Gardner, 10. Sarna, 11. O. Bennett, 12. Beilman, 13. Cling, 14. B. Bennett, 15. Ensign, 16. Leach, 17. Kofoid. NT

INDY RACE PARTS / ROD END SUPPLY SEMI: (15 laps, top-4 transfer) 1. Copeland, 2. Garrett, 3. Josett, 4. Liggett, 5. Dalby, 6. Decker, 7. Haudenschild, 8. Bernal, 9. Gardner, 10. Haase, 11. Chandler, 12. Johnson, 13. Heath, 14. Morgan, 15. Sarna, 16. D. Golobic, 17. Henry, 18. Shelton. NT

FEATURE: (98 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Christopher Bell (9), 2. Kyle Larson (3), 3. Chad Boat (2), 4. Tucker Klaasmeyer (6), 5. Tyler Courtney (8), 6. Tanner Carrick (1), 7. Brady Bacon (10), 8. Jason McDougal (17), 9. Jerry Coons, Jr. (20), 10. Justin Grant (14), 11. Cole Bodine (15), 12. Jesse Colwell (11), 13. Colby Copeland (23), 14. Robert Dalby (30), 15. Cody Swanson (22), 16. Logan Seavey (18), 17. Spencer Bayston (16), 18. Michael Faccinto (21), 19. Shane Golobic (4), 20. C.J. Leary (19), 21. Ryan Robinson (7), 22. Rico Abreu (12), 23. Sam Johnson (27), 24.  Zeb Wise (13), 25. Tanner Thorson (5), 26. Robby Josett (25), 27. Austin Liggett (26), 28. Carson Garrett (24), 29. Alex Schutte (28), 30. Holley Hollan (29). NT

**Pankratz flipped during qualifying. Shelton flipped during the semi. Henry flipped during the semi. D. Golobic and Sarna flipped during the semi.

FINAL USAC P1 INSURANCE MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Seavey-1019, 2-Boat-918, 3-Bacon-903, 4-Courtney-862, 5-Bayston-862, 6-Carrick-846, 7-Grant-845, 8-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-711, 9-Wise-632, 10-Coons-606.

FINAL USAC LIGHT UP THE WORLD WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Faccinto-753, 2-Schutte-753, 3-Dalby-613, 4-Josett-593, 5-Sarna-538, 6-David Prickett-509, 7-Beilman-438, 8-Frankie Guerrini-370, 9-Ronnie Gardner-370, 10-Shannon McQueen-370.


USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR SERIES SPECIAL EVENT RESULTS: November 22, 2018 – Ventura Raceway – Ventura, California – “78th Running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix” / “Battle of the Beach Race #4” – co-sanctioned with VRA

 EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST SEMI: (12 laps, Top 4 Transfer) 1. Michael Pickens (#81X Watt), 2. Logan Seavey (#21K Kruseman), 3. Ryan Timmons (#29T Timmons), 4. Tye Mihocko (#5 Mihocko), 5. Tyler Edwards (#57X Hix), 6. Koen Shaw (#88K Shaw), 7. Steve Hix (#57 Hix), 8. Hannah Mayhew (#43 Mayhew), 9. Kyle Edwards (#39E Edwards), 10. Nate Schank (#1S Schank), 11. Matt Stewart (#33 Case).

KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS SECOND SEMI: (12 laps, Top 4 Transfer) 1. Brody Roa (#91R BR), 2. Colby Copeland (#16A Copeland), 3. Jake Swanson (#34AZ Grau), 4. Max Adams (#38 Long), 5. Rick Hendrix (#15 Hendrix), 6. Shawn Arriaga (#56 Arriaga), 7. Guy Woodward (#24X Woodward), 8. Cody Majors (#81M Watt), 9. Albert Pombo (#35 Pombo).

COMPETITION SUSPENSION INCORPORATED THIRD SEMI: (12 laps, Top 4 Transfer) 1. Tanner Carrick (#83T Carrick), 2. J.J. Ringo (#2 Keller), 3. Slater Helt (#81S Watt), 4. Ryan Bernal (#73 Ford), 5. Colton Hardy (#74 Williams), 6. Cooper Desbiens (#4D Desbiens), 7. Charlie Butcher (#96 B&B), 8. Rob Lindsey (#23S Lindsey).

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Carson Macedo, 2. Tyler Courtney, 3. Geoff Ensign, 4. Austin Liggett, 5. Tristan Guardino, 6. Jake Swanson, 7. Colby Copeland, 8. Ryan Bernal, 9. Tanner Carrick, 10. Stevie Sussex, 11. Slater Helt, 12. Michael Pickens, 13. Ryan Timmons, 14. Logan Seavey, 15. Max Adams, 16. J.J. Ringo, 17. Tye Mihocko, 18. Troy Rutherford, 19. Brody Roa, 20. C.J. Leary, 21. Chase Johnson, 22. Brady Bacon.

**Woodward flipped on lap 10 of the second semi. Timmons flipped on lap 17 of the feature.

 FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-13 Leary, Laps 14-30 Macedo

About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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